In case you were wondering about the cryptic "All She Wrote" post I figured I'd give some explanation. Last November I was working my doorman job when one Saturday night an attractive woman with brown curly hair was hovering around me from time to time. We were talking a bit. She was dancing a bunch. She made me laugh. But when she went back to her table she was hanging on a guy and seemed to be into him. Things looked pretty physical and they seemed to be getting along well. She was pretty drunk and seemed to get louder as she drank. At one point she led out three yelps like she was on a farm trying to round up pigs. I mentally crossed her off my list.
I didn't think much of it because I meet a lot of women like that at this job and either I never see them again, or I always see them with the same guy. Or they show up with different guys but they're definitely taken. So nothing really comes of it.
The following Saturday she was back again with a different guy. I thought this made her somewhat slutty. That's not necessarily a bad thing. She seemed to be dancing a bunch with this guy but there was not much affection. I figured it was an early date.
At one point late in the night she was standing on the ring of the barstool and singing to me. I smiled and acknowledged this. I was certainly flattered but still had no plans to ask her out.
She stayed until close and her and her man left the bar. He was smoking by the end of the sidewalk while she was leaning on the door frame. I came out to talk to her. She said, "So, what's your story?" Instead of regaling her with the "Exciting Roller Coaster Life of Mario" (awaiting publication) I assumed she meant what do I do for a living. I told her I was a project manager and worked here on Saturdays. She said she'd like to get together for a drink sometime. I told her I didn't think it was a good idea for me to pick her up while her date was standing ten feet away. She said it's okay, he's gay. I said in that case, what's your number?
We had a hard time scheduling our first date. She was sick, then I had rehearsal, then she was sick again. Finally we set it up for the night before I went to Germany, December 7th. We had a nice time. Nothing scary. We talked about first date stuff. I said I'd be in touch with her when I came back into town. We didn't see each other the rest of December. I was busy, then she was out of town, then she was sick (AGAIN). So we didn't go on our next date until the second week in January.
After that, things picked up. We started to see each other a few times a week. We started to act coupley, like checking in with each other for weekend plans. We talked about things we planned to do to entertain ourselves in the future, like spending time in Madison where she had gone to school, planning a visit to Cabo where her family takes a trip every April. I talked about what she'd do on Pool Day. Essentially we fell into being in a relationship.
The weird thing for me was, I liked it! (Hey Mikey!) Even though I had kind of written off that part of me it turns out I liked having companionship. I liked having someone to go to new restaurants with, see movies with and just lay around and watch TV with. I enjoyed dating her. I told her if I knew dating could be this much fun I wouldn't have avoided it for so long. She agreed.
I also liked her. She made me laugh. She's 34 and really attractive. We shared the same general values and we got along well. She had yet to be mad at me. She made me feel good. She was easy to hang out with and never made me feel like one wrong word would set her off, unlike most relationships I had prior to March of 2007.
She was a law school graduate. This meant she would argue with me, usually effectively. I enjoyed the challenge. I told her I didn't like the song "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida because it was illogical. The woman claims, "Oh, sometimes I get a good feeling. I get a feeling like I never, never, never, never had before. I get a good feeling." I, of course, claimed that if she sometimes gets a good feeling then she had to have it more than once. Which means she couldn't have "never, never, never, never had" it before. She pointed out that the statements may not necessarily be related.
I once pointed out the ridiculousness of the movie "Serendipity." She said, "How do you know we haven't spent our lives nearly missing each other until now?" I had no answer for that.
Red flags? I didn't notice any. Pale yellow at best. She had two cats, which some would say is two too many but I tend to think is one to many. She swore that you needed three cats to be a crazy cat lady. I told her I'd withhold judgment on that. But she was a little cat happy. They had run of the house often poking their heads into her food and drink. She had some cat expressions she would say from time to time. She sent me a text once that read "Hey bkf :)" I responded: "Bkf? Boy kinda friend? Big knowledgeable fellow? Backwards kicking ferret?" She responded: "Backwards kicking ferret? The precursor to crouching tiger hidden dragon? Try baby kitty face :)" "Really, baby kitty face", I thought. I responded that I hoped that was a compliment.
Strange, but not anything I couldn't deal with. There were things I might have gotten tired of but nothing that made me dislike hanging out with her on a regular basis.
She still did the drunken yelpy thing but by the time she did it when we were together I was enjoying her company so much that I didn't much care.
She had a way of implying that I would end up liking the same things she did - skiing, Wisconsin professional sports teams, yoga - that sometimes seemed that she didn't regard my feelings on things. But she wasn't insistent about any of that so I didn't think it would be an issue.
She didn't "get" the internet. I thought that was seriously odd especially considering how deep in I am. She had her gossip web site she checks regularly but other than that she doesn't spend much time here. I used that to my advantage as I composed many tweets that I knew she'd never see. We're not Facebook friends as her account is pretty dormant. She knows nothing about this blog.
She apologized for being physically reticent at times. We started super slowly and she said she enjoyed a good makeout session but then when it came time for that she seemed to pull back. She finally explained that she had some issues with men in her past that she was trying to work through and that made her hold back. She promised to work through these issues and asked for my patience. Being a patient guy that was an easy promise to make.
Eventually we worked through that. The only issue seemed to be that she was buzzed when it happened. When she was sober the walls were usually up. I figured that would work itself out over time.
Things were good. I met her sister and her boyfriend in early February and we got along well. We had a nice Valentine's Day of watching "The Princess Bride" at the Music Box. (Inconceivable!) We were having fun.
While my gift to her was dinner and a movie she gave me a book. She's an avid reader. The book is "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts. It's her favorite book. The following weekend she asked if I had opened the book. I told her I hadn't and that I hadn't planned to read it for a while as I had just started "Lamb" and she was in favor of me reading that first. She asked me to open the book and find the inscription. Oh. Let me do that.
I hope this story inspires you half as much as you've inspired me.
*Crazy Cat Lady - for some reason I feel like protecting her real name.
Whoa! Gee, I usually only inspire people to drink more. What did she mean? I asked her then but I forgot what she said. I thanked her. That was a really nice thing to write.
She went on vacation with her parents at the end of February. I spent the night with her before she left. We had a great time. She gave me some homemade granola she made before I left her apartment that morning. We texted periodically while she was gone. I told her I liked the granola. She said she loved that I liked it. She was texting frequently the first few days she was gone but that slowly tapered off. She came back on Saturday the 3rd and said she needed some time alone but could we get together on Sunday, the next day. Sure!
She was sick so our original plans of brunch then going bowling with her sister couldn't be executed. She had me over anyway but was very careful about me not kissing her on the lips. People have asked me if she was actually sick and she definitely was. She was coughing and congested. She went through a bunch of tissues.
She hates her job. She was dreading going back to work the next day. I told her to keep in touch even though I knew she would be busy with work during the week. She tended to not communicate much when she got busy with work. I always thought talking to me would make her feel better but it never seemed like she wanted to do that.
I heard from her Monday and Tuesday and then again shortly on Thursday saying it had been a rough week and she didn't feel like talking about it. I made plans for us to hang with my friends on Saturday. She hadn't met any of them yet. Although it sounds weird now this was entirely by coincidence. Her and our schedules didn't ever mesh with getting everyone together. So it was supposed to happen Saturday the 10th.
Most of our communication was through text. We probably talked on the phone 3 times max during the whole relationship and always for fact finding not a casual conversation.
It's weird. Looking at the texts she seemed excited to see me when she got back from vacation. She sent one Friday while she was still in Florida that simply read, "I get to see you soon!" Then the energy drains during the week. I sent her a text on Friday asking if she was alive or had drowned herself in wine. When I didn't hear from her Friday about Saturday plans it finally occurred to me that maybe she was thinking about breaking up with me. But I couldn't figure out what was wrong so I put it out of my mind.
I received this text at 11:33am on Saturday March 10th:
I'm alive. I feel like crap that I'm not being fair to you. The truth is that I don't feel like hanging out. I don't understand it because I think you are amazing - smart, funny, sweet and thoughtful. You make me feel special and proud to be myself. All of the conversations we've had have been truthful. Despite all that good stuff, I can't find the drive to continue moving down this path. Yes, I've been through the ringer the last few years, but it should be easier than this. It's making me feel unhealthy and like I always owe you an apology. (I recognize that's all on me, you have been nothing but supportive) You deserve someone who is all in and as emotionally available as you are. I'm really sorry this didn't work out. Even as I'm typing this (and being a total coward), I know it's my loss. Take care.
What? I texted her back, "Talk?" Nothing. I called her. No answer. I sent many long texts some of which she responded to. But she wouldn't talk to me. And with that, she decided to never again speak to this person who "inspired" her. There was no fight. We hadn't had a fight yet. There was a re-evaluation and that was that. No discussion. Just a decision.
I was really hurt at the time. I'm still pretty disappointed. I had gotten in the rhythm of planning to do things with her on nights I wasn't already busy and I haven't shaken that yet. I'll get over it. I think it sucks that even when I didn't think I was with someone crazy I actually was. Maybe someday...
Ultimately, she wasn't that enthused about dating me. Not sure why. It was nothing I did. I'm extremely angry about how she broke it off. Not talking to me is incredibly insulting. She is a coward. Nothing would have changed but at least she could be an adult about it. I told her I hope her next boyfriend breaks up with her that way.
But then, being the sap that I am, I told her I hope she finds what she's looking for, gets a new job and finds happiness in her future. I'm dumb.
I asked her how I inspired her. She said, "I thought you were inspiring because of the way you handled losing your job and that I felt comfortable being myself around you." I feel like I somehow misrepresented myself if she was inspired by how I handled losing my job. If I could've made enough money to live as a "Professional Drinking Buddy" I would have.
Because my friends never met her I referred to her as "(CCL) Glass."
If our lives had been just like "Serendipity" that would have made it a much worse movie.
Did I learn anything? I learned I enjoy having companionship. I should make more of an effort to date. I liked it. While I love my independence nothing I did with CCL took it away from me. If I could find that with someone else, it would be great.
I learned that even if I do everything the right way that doesn't necessarily mean things will work out.
We were at dinner on one of our first dates and I asked her about the "What's your story?" question she asked right before she asked me out. I said, "Were you trying to figure out what I was doing with my life?" She said, "Yeah, pretty much." I said, "What if I had answered, 'I'm a career doorman.'"
She said, "Then you wouldn't be sitting there."